The Age of Augustus

Module code: AH2703

Augustus: Builder, Patron, Victor, Lover, Tyrant.

In this module will explore the foundations of the Roman Empire as they were laid by the greatest Roman of them all. Augustus oversaw a massive political shift in his long reign (31 BCE – 14 CE), which (depending on how you look at it), either saved a crumbling Roman world from disintegrating entirely, or forever deprived the Republic of its freedom. In this module we’ll look at the extraordinary world of the Augustan age, reading some of the finest literature ever produced, admiring the splendours of his reborn city, and reflecting on a world transformed.

Material is delivered through a combination of pre-recorded lectures, guided reading, and study exercises. Assessment for this module comprises a text criticism of an ancient source, and a research essay that you will write based on a topic relating to the culture, society or politics of Augustan Rome.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • The Birth of an Empire
  • Triumphal Celebrations and the Rhetoric of Victory
  • A Cultural Golden Age
  • Bricks and Marble: Building Augustan Rome
  • Poetry and Propaganda?
  • A Family Man
  • Rome and the Provinces
  • The Secret of Augustus’s Succession
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